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French soccer president resigns amid misconduct probe

French soccer president resigns amid misconduct probe


PARIS — French soccer federation president Noel Le Graet resigned Tuesday after a authorities audit discovered he not had the legitimacy to guide due to his conduct towards girls and his administration fashion.

The 81-year-old Le Graet is beneath judicial investigation for alleged sexual and ethical harassment. He had already stepped away from his duties till the audit’s findings had been reviewed by the federation’s government committee.

He submitted his resignation to a gathering of the chief committee Tuesday, in line with a press release from the federation.

Federation vp Philippe Diallo will deal with Le Graet’s duties on an interim foundation till June 2023, the assertion mentioned.

Amid rising criticism of Le Graet final 12 months, French sports activities minister Amelie Oudea-Castera ordered the audit into the federation in September.

The audit report, primarily based on greater than 100 interviews and evaluation of assorted paperwork, concluded final month that Le Graet’s conduct towards girls was inappropriate, and highlighted different dysfunctions on the federation. It additionally famous that its coverage in opposition to gender-based and sexual violence is “neither efficient or environment friendly.”

The federation praised Le Graet’s “exceptional sporting and financial outcomes” as head of the soccer physique since 2011. It reiterated its “sturdy dedication in opposition to gender-based and sexual violence” and sought to distance itself from the audit.

Le Graet has had a powerful relationship with FIFA president Gianni Infantino and it was unclear on Tuesday what the standing was of his two positions at soccer’s world physique.

Infantino appointed Le Graet in January 2022 as his private delegate to FIFA’s satellite tv for pc workplace in Paris that features liaising with member federations in Europe and Africa.

“The French Soccer Federation is doing a exceptional job,” Infantino mentioned final 12 months in asserting the appointment, “and I typically have the chance to speak with Noel Le Graet to higher perceive how the instance set right here in France can assist soccer improvement initiatives on a worldwide foundation.”

FIFA didn’t instantly reply to requests on Tuesday for touch upon the problem.

Le Graet can also be a candidate to retain his $250,000-a-year seat on FIFA’s ruling council which is elected by UEFA member federations.

Regardless of the controversy surrounding the French soccer physique, Le Graet has not publicly withdrawn his candidacy to face in an April 5 vote on the UEFA Congress in Lisbon, Portugal. His scheduled opponent is Fernando Gomes, a UEFA vp from Portugal.

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